Download PDF by Bernard-Henri Lévy: American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of

By Bernard-Henri Lévy

ISBN-10: 0307430626

ISBN-13: 9780307430625

What does it suggest to be an American, and what can the US be this present day? to reply to those questions, celebrated thinker and journalist Bernard-Henri Lévy spent a yr touring during the kingdom within the footsteps of one other nice Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, whose Democracy in the United States is still the main influential ebook ever written approximately our nation.

The result's American Vertigo, a desirable, entirely clean examine a rustic we occasionally merely imagine we all know. From Rikers Island to Chicago mega-churches, from Muslim groups in Detroit to an Amish enclave in Iowa, Lévy investigates concerns on the middle of our democracy: the precise nature of yankee patriotism, the coexistence of freedom and faith (including the faith of baseball), the felony procedure, the “return of ideology” and the wellbeing and fitness of our political associations, and lots more and plenty extra. He revisits and updates Tocqueville’s most vital ideals, comparable to the hazards posed by way of “the tyranny of the majority,” explores what Europe and the USA need to research from one another, and translates what he sees with a novelist’s eye and a philosopher’s intensity.

Through robust interview-based graphics around the spectrum of the yankee humans, from legal guards to monks, from Norman Mailer to Barack Obama, from Sharon Stone to Richard Holbrooke, Lévy fills his publication with a tapestry of yank voices–some clever, a few surprising. either the grandeur and the hellish dimensions of yankee existence are unflinchingly explored. and large subject matters emerge all through, from the the most important offerings the USA faces this present day to the underlying truth that, not like the “Old World,” the US is still the achievement of the world’s wish to worship, earn, and dwell as one wishes–a position, regardless of all, the place inclusion continues to be not only an amazing yet a precise practice.

At a time while americans are worried approximately how the area perceives them and, certainly, prepared to make feel of themselves, an excellent and sympathetic overseas observer has arrived to aid us start a brand new dialog concerning the which means of the US.

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Extra resources for American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville

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The Myth of Laissez-Faire 19 opment amounted to an attack on the whole idea of laissez-faire—a suggestion that government and coercion are not opposed to human liberty but in fact are necessary to it. The second development is practical, involving the Great Depression and the nation’s reaction to it. The two developments are closely linked. Standing by itself, a set of conceptual claims is most unlikely to move a nation. But the Great Depression helped drive the conceptual lesson home. The new understanding of rights was a product of a new understanding of wrongs.

Experience makes all the difference, and the second bill of rights would not have been possible without the experience of the Depression. I will return to this point below, but for the moment let us simply notice that the arguments I have just traced had an impact not merely on politics but also on the Supreme Court. When Roosevelt was elected, the Supreme Court had, for several decades, interpreted the Constitution to forbid many of the initiatives the New Dealers hoped to implement. ” The Court ruled against minimum wage and maximum hour laws, saying that government could not “interfere” with voluntary interactions between employers and employees.

It is not in despair that I paint you that picture. I paint it in hope—because the Nation, seeing and understanding the injustice of it, proposes to paint it out. . Franklin Delano Roosevelt W HERE DO RIGHTS COME FROM? If this is taken as a philosophical question, many answers might be imagined. But in practice, rights are a product of concrete historical 35 36 Th e S e c o n d B i l l o f R i g h t s experiences with wrongs. The United States Constitution in its original form was borne directly out of two experiences: the tyranny of English rule and the inadequacy of the decentralized system created by the Articles of Confederation that preceded the Constitution.

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American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville by Bernard-Henri Lévy


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